PJ Media

"I Feel your Pain"

Jonah Goldberg makes some a href=”http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-oped0110goldbergjan10,0,4762525.story”good points in his article,/a span style=”font-style:italic;”Voting in the age of Dr. Phil/span:br /br /blockquoteWhat Americans really want when they look into a politician’s eyes is to see their own images reflected back, like in Narcissus’ pool. The presidency in particular has become the highest ground in the culture war. Americans want a candidate who validates them personally. “I’m voting for him because he’s a hunter like me.” “I’m backing her because she’s a woman too.” “I’m for that guy because he’s angry like me.” Such sentiments have colored the presidential contest for so long, they’ve saturated it like stain into wood.br /br /”Authenticity” — on which voters supposedly place such a premium — is really just a label put on self-validation. Bill Clinton infamously promised he felt our pain. Hillary Clinton similarly sold her 2000 bid for the Senate by arguing that she was more concerned about the issues that concern New Yorkers than was her competitor.br /br /…..In a sense, this is populism updated for the age of “Oprah” and “Dr. Phil.” Principles and policy details take a back seat to the need to say “there, there — I understand” to voters. As Willie Stark, the populist protagonist of “All the King’s Men,” bellows to the insatiably needy crowds: “Your will is my strength, and your need is my justice.”/blockquotebr /br /Choosing understanding and false empathy over policy and hard decisions is not the way to choose a president.br /br /Update: I see that Jonah Goldberg’s book a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385511841?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=0385511841″ span style=”font-style:italic;”Liberal Fascism/span/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0385511841″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / is up to strike #8/strike strike6/strike strike4/strike 3 on Amazon and is now #1 in Politics.